U.S. jobless claims fell by 29,000 in latest week from previous week, to 409,000; four-week average of claims climbed 1,250 to 439,000

WASHINGTON, D.C. , May 19, 2011 (press release) – In the week ending May 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 409,000, a decrease of 29,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 438,000. The 4-week moving average was 439,000, an increase of 1,250 from the previous week's revised average of 437,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.0 percent for the week ending May 7, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate of 3.0 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 7 was 3,711,000, a decrease of 81,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,792,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,728,250, an increase of 750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,727,500.

UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 357,872 in the week ending May 14, a decrease of 39,865 from the previous week. There were 414,572 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.8 percent during the week ending May 7, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,562,660, a decrease of 160,611 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 3.5 percent and the volume was 4,471,786.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending April 30 was 7,936,548, a decrease of 47,124 from the previous week.

Extended benefits were available in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia, during the week ending April 30.

Initial claims for UI benefits by former Federal civilian employees totaled 1,449 in the week ending May 7, a decrease of 168 from the prior week. There were 2,470 initial claims by newly discharged veterans, an increase of 190 from the preceding week.

There were 26,495 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending April 30, a decrease of 2,971 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 37,186, an increase of 430 from the prior week.

States reported 3,468,979 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending April 30, an increase of 53,398 from the prior week. There were 5,095,265 claimants in the comparable week in 2010. EUC weekly claims include first, second, third, and fourth tier activity.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending April 30 were in Alaska (5.8 percent), Puerto Rico (5.6), Oregon (4.3), Pennsylvania (4.1), California (4.0), New Jersey (3.9), Wisconsin (3.9), Nevada (3.7), Connecticut (3.7), Idaho (3.6), and Rhode Island (3.6).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 7 were in Alabama (+5,767), California (+4,015), Puerto Rico (+3,124), Michigan (+3,122), and Mississippi (+1,666), while the largest decreases were in New York (-23,445), Wisconsin (-3,556), Ohio (-3,014), Connecticut (-2,693), and New Jersey (-1,599).

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